hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma
 BLOG ABOUT THIS

Review: BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma

10:00 AM on 04.01.2014 // Ben Pack
  @packbenpack

The Wheel of Fate keeps on turning

If the pacing of Street Fighter was baseball, and Marvel vs Capcom 3 was basketball, BlazBlue would be a free-for-all cage match match between two over-caffeinated nine-year-olds.

And I mean this in the most endearing way possible.

BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma (PS3 [reviewed], Vita)
Developer: Arc System Works
Publisher: Aksys Games
Release Date: March 25, 2014 (PS3) / Summer 2014 (Vita)
MSRP: $49.99

For those who aren't in the know, BlazBlue Chrono Phantasma is the third game in the BlazBlue series, and is treated as a sequel to Continuum Shift. Like past entries in the franchise the mechanics of the game are deceptively simple -- there are three normal attacks and a special button -- that's it...at first. Then you add in the fact that every character’s D (special) button is completely different. For one character it might summon a doll player to fight along with the player, it can summon satellites that will populate the screen and fire lasers, or push and pull your opponent around the stage -- talk about diversity.

The creators have talked about making mastering each character feel like its own game, and that’s very true, since you cannot just pick up and play anyone at a decent level. Once you start to really play a character and learn their nuances, it really starts to pay off and feels rewarding. There is also simple control set called “stylish mode” where beginners can string together combos by mashing buttons and even auto-block to some degree. This mode, however, will not be at all effective against players who know what they are doing.

The game is heavily focused on offense. In some fighters characters may turtle the majority of the game while readying charge moves, whittling down the clock as much as opponents health, but in BlazBlue you are in fact punished for holding back too much and become more vulnerable to attacks. In Chrono Phantasma they have also removed gold bursts, and added a new mechanic called Overdrive that makes your character stronger based on how much life they are missing. This kind of all-out offense is fun to play and even more fun to watch at a high level, and is unlike almost any other fighting games out there.

All the characters, including downloadable ones, have returned from Continuum Shift, with the exception of Lambda-11. There are seven new characters, including two DLC characters not released at the time of this review. Each of the characters is unique enough to be fun, and well worth playing around with -- in other words, veteran fans will love the chance to master every single one of them.

The Blood Edge and The Ice Fighter

All existing characters have received balance updates, but early reports out of the Japanese version of the game call for another update citing that the character Kokonoe is overpowered beyond comparison, and is even being banned in some tournaments. Seeing a broken character that you have to pay for is a pretty bummer move at this juncture, unless Arc System Works replies with a swift patch -- which is reportedly will do in May.

The story mode is where the biggest changes in the game have occurred. The previous titles have featured individual stories for each of the characters, but those have been cut down in size and moved to the arcade mode. Now there is one main canonical story that features all of the characters and plays out more like a visual novel.

There are three branches following three separate teams through as they go on a very anime  styled adventure to stop the resurrection of some sort of mythical beast. I played through story mode, but ended up skipping most of the hours of dialogue to play the dozen or so fights stitched together by Kojima-level cutscenes and interactions. As if sitting through hours of story in a game that is all about moving fast and quick, amazing battles, there are many instances of branching dialogue where if you pick the wrong option, you sit through a “bad” ending and have to play it again.

The roughly few hour long story mode concludes with a very tedious boss fight that you have to repeat three times. I won’t spoil what it is, but if anime has taught me anything it’s that if someone is trying to revive some sort of ancient evil, it doesn’t really matter if it gets revived at all -- because our heroes have the power of friendship on their side. If it seems strange to be so critical of a fighting game’s story mode, I am doing so for two reasons. First, you have to play though all of it. At least if you want to unlock the last character; something that hasn’t been fun since Super Smash Bros. Melee. You also unlock a second mode where you get to fight that very tedious boss, but he’s even stronger.

Second, Arc System Works did a great job with the story in Persona 4 Arena, and that attention to detail isn't reflected here I’m not just talking about the content of the story (since the source material for P4A is far more interesting), but also how it is presented. This all being said, if you are very excited to see what happens next in the BlazBlue timeline, there's a lot waiting for you here. They have also included a “Teach Me, Miss Litchi!” mode where you can get caught up in the story. The music however is excellent, containing arranged tracks that stay true to the series.

All the characters of Chrono Phantasma

Beyond the story, arcade and regular versus modes, offline mode includes Abyss mode and the Unlimited Mars gametype. In Unlimited mode players must fight ten powerful “unlimited” characters -- that's about it. Abyss mode is a longer mode where you must choose a character to fight through increasingly difficult opponents to reach the bottom of a pit. You can level up various aspects of your character along the way, making them faster and stronger. This mode has a lot of potential to be a fun way to play offline, which is rare in fighting games. In regards to the standard gametypes, the quality of the netplay is among the best I’ve ever played for a fighting game, and I had exactly one laggy match against an opponent with poor latency -- that's it.

This game is pretty much exclusively made for those who already enjoy the BlazBlue franchise and want to continue playing with new and refined characters. BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma offers things like Stylish Mode and an incredibly comprehensive tutorial that not only teaches BlazBlue tactics, but also fighting game fundamentals. Unfortunately people looking to get into a new fighting game will have trouble both catching up and caring about the story, struggle to pick up and master one of the game’s crazy characters. Arc System Works have improved on their formula at its core, but failed to make the package more appealing.



THE VERDICT

7.5

BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma - Reviewed by Ben Pack
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Ben Pack, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure packbenpack Tips
My name is Ben Pack. I write about eSports and competitive gaming and children who get paid millions to play video games. more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

techsupport avatartechsupport
I once posted that Total Recall was the best movie ever made. I would like to make note that Starship Troopers is a close second. Carry on.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I put too many peppers in my sausage and potatoes. My asshole is on fire. I want to cry when I wipe. But it was good.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
One glorious Japanese twitter user made a custom LBX of one of my favorite Kamen Riders: [img]http://i.imgur.com/yp1oraHm.jpg[/img] It's like getting peanut butter in chocolate but with small robots and spandex banana men!
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I feel terrible for not reading most of you beautiful people's blogs. Let's just say my passion is writing, not reading :s
techsupport avatartechsupport
People can debate GOTY all they want, but the real question is: D-Horse or Roach?
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
I'm dragging myself away from my PS4 long enough to say that MGS V is pretty darn awesome so far.
Myles Cox avatarMyles Cox
Down with that PAX Pox. Auhhhghghghhhh
Shinta avatarShinta
MGSV: Sneaking into a heavily guarded Russian military base in Afghanistan at night, slashing throats while listening to this. [youtube]https://youtu.be/-hWZqllm3mQ[/youtube] Comes off like a perfectly planned scene in a Scorsese movie or something.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Tortilla chips: The only food I know and love to betray me by deciding to flip to a bad angle and stab me in the gums.
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
I'm ok with Namco shutting down Soul Calibur: Lost Souls, as long as they keep Ace Combat:Infinity running. Love that game and just hit 3 million credits.
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
Holy fuck I feel new again. I've been on hiatus for a while and haven't been up to writing. I might just jump back into things after I relearn things here. Does anyone even remember me? Like damn it's been a while.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
In MGS5: The Phantom Pain, Solid Snake dies from lung cancer from all those years of smoking. #FakeSpoilers
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
[youtube]http://youtu.be/FDSHslyrxkM[/youtube] If you don't know the truth, you don't know the score. The end is coming near. MAJOR SPOILERS!
Paul S avatarPaul S
Wow, it's really easy to get people upset over video games.
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
I hope MGS V is living up to everyone's expectations. I can't get enough.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
I dislike the idea of intentionally reinforcing the notions that either race or gender are character traits, and those that don't match your own are completely unrelatable.
Shinta avatarShinta
Who's your favorite female black writer on Destructoid's staff? Post a comment below with your votes.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
I'm ok if someone chooses a character's ethnicity in a story with the intent of being more representative, as long as the story is good. And if even SOME people feel like it helps them relate, then good! Don't bother me none.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
OK. So the Mad Max game is basically the combat from the Batman games, the driving bits from Rage and the taking over the outposts bits from Far Cry 3 and 4. I guess what I'm saying is that it's super fun and I'm really, really enjoying it.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
@Jed Whitaker I might be missing something, but does the race of the characters really matter? I'm white and if every VG character was black I wouldn't care. It's skin color... that's it. I guess others care more than me about this stuff though.
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma


  Jun 11

BlazBlue Chronophantasma to be localized in 2014

Heaven or Hell, let's rock! Oh wait wrong game


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -